Of the many problems that India is facing, the problem of price rise is one of the most intricate problems. Prices of all commodities are being raised every day, and the common men have been hit the hardest because of this successive raise in prices. Though there are several reasons for this steep rise in price, as responsible citizens we can do our part to check the rising prices through our daily habits and judicious use of resources.
Price Rise in India
Price rise is a world- wide phenomenon. Economists describe it as inflation. Over the past few years, prices have been continuously rising in India and the damage caused by rising price has affected the country’s economy. Besides the urban poor and the landless labourers, the people most affected by this are the fixed income group. Amongst the fixed income group are the middle class who are the backbone of the country.
Indians have a limited capacity to absorb the impact of high prices. Besides savings and other expenses, most people spend the bulk of their income on food and daily basic necessities. With an increase in the general price level, the price of all the basic daily requirements increases much higher. Therefore great distress is caused to the people.
Amongst the causes for price rise, the single most important factor which has led to rise in prices since 1970 has been the hike in the price of petroleum and allied products. As we all know, petrol has become an indispensable part of our life, to completely shut down the use of fuel in today’s world is almost impossible for any country or citizen. However, it seems each day the fuel price keeps on increasing. Within three years petrol price has increased 10 times and is still increasing. Petrol hike directly or indirectly affects all the major sectors like transportation (here we find that when fuel price rises it automatically triggers the public transportation fare), textiles, automobiles, etc. and the price of daily essential commodities which are transported on a daily basis either in land, water or air ways. Banking sector is also expected to suffer due to high inflation level.
Prices were increased by great margins by the Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC). The petrol price is inching towards Rs. 100 per litre in Mumbai, and has crossed Rs. 80 per litre in New Delhi. On October 2, petrol touched it highest-ever price of Rs. 91.20 per litre in Mumbai, Rs. 85.65 in Kolkata and Rs.87.18 per litre in Chennai.. Exactly 20 years ago, in 1998, we would have paid just Rs. 23.94 for a litre of petrol in Delhi. That’s an increase of about 238 percent in 20 years. That comes to about an average increase of 12 percent per year. In tandem with petrol, the cost of diesel also rose to new heights of Rs. 79.94, Rs. 79.72 per litre in Kolkata and Mumbai respectively.
The rising price of fuel is affecting not just the citizens of the country but its effect can be seen in the stock market as well. There could be various reasons responsible for fuel price rise. However, looking into the present updates and scenario some of the factors responsible for the rise in fuel price can be because of the substantial price rise of crude oil, the sliding value of rupee as compared to the US dollar or the central government’s fixed excise duty.
India has become one of the most expensive places to buy petrol. Keeping in mind that India is a developing country, it is growing each day be it in the field of education, technology, agriculture, etc. So, with the increase in country’s development and advancement the area of demand to use more fuel in almost all the field of advancements like vehicles including the agricultural vehicles as tractors, increase of industries and factories, urbanization, etc. has led to the wide use of fuel and its products.
Price rise is a social, political and economic evil. It results from a failure of prices to adjust to changing trends in the economy. The sole cure for rising prices does not lie with the government. However, the government does play an important role in rooting out price rise. Social, political and industrial stability can remedy inflation. Every now and then the citizens complain about inflation but the question is what are we doing on our part to decrease it and bring a sustainable existence? We are the ones equally responsible along with the government to do something and try to control the situation. For instance, increase in number of vehicles also causes hike in petrol prices. So the thing we can do is to reduce oil consumption by using public transport for travelling to routine places like our office, colleges, markets, etc. use of cycles to go to nearby places instead of bikes or cars. Cutting off fuel supply or switching the engine off when the traffic is halted for long. Developing alternate sources of energy like solar energy etc. and government should allocate more funds for developing alternate source of energy as well as develop high capacity goods and transport system. We can contribute towards holding price-line.
A check on our expenses would go a long way to bring down the prices. We ought to lead a simple life and always try to shun the use of imported goods. Because according to the common and major lifestyles of Indians, we prefer using mostly the imported goods be it television (T.V), refrigerator, cellular phones, vehicles, beauty products, and many more. I think all of us as responsible citizens of India must once again remind ourselves not to be selfish on our part to exhaust our resources but we need to use it judiciously so that our future generations can also use it. Rising price is not inevitable. It can and should be curbed. Only then we can then build a strong and prosperous India.
Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Aniruddha, Meren and Kvulo Lorin.
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